Wolfgang Buttress to design successor to Heatherwick’s Seed Cathedral

British artist Wolfgang Buttress has won the competition to create the UK pavilion at the Milan Expo in 2015 with a design inspired by ‘the unique role of the honeybee’.

British artist Wolfgang Buttress has won the competition to create the UK pavilion at the Milan Expo in 2015 with a design which has been inspired by ‘the unique role of the honeybee’.

Prince Harry announced BE as the winning design in the £6 million competition at a ceremony in Rome yesterday.

It will succeed Thomas Heatherwick’s Seed Cathedral, the UK entry which won best in show at the last Expo in Shanghai in 2010. 

Visitors will approach the main structure by passing through a fruit orchard and enter a wildflower meadow where a ‘golden orb’ made of a fine steel lattice, based on the design of honeycomb, will pulsate, buzz and glow in response to signals from a real hive.

BE by Wolgang Buttress
BE by Wolgang Buttress

The design is meant to highlight the dwindling numbers of honeybees and show how research and technology are helping to address challenges including food security and biodiversity.

Wolfgang Buttress hopes it will also give visitors an impression of British food, music and fashion.

Buttress says, ‘My wish is for visitors to engage with the UK Pavilion as a whole and for the hive to be recognised as a barometer for the health of the earth; drawing parallels between a hive and human society.’

The design beat entries by the likes of Barber Osgerby, Asif Khan, and Paul Cocksedge, who were all shortlisted. 

BE will compete against other countries pavilions at The Universal Expo event which will be held in Milan between May – October 2015.

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